what is a short sale?

Asked by William Carr, Byron, GA Wed Jan 11, 2012

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Dan Contino’s answer
Dan Contino, Agent, Mystic, CT
Thu Jan 12, 2012
I agree as well that you have a lot of great answers here. I just want to add that there are special certifications that real estate professionals can obtain on short sales and foreclosures that give them an educational advantage in helping you work through the process. You also want to make sure that you work with someone who has experience with short sales.
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Scott Hulen, , 64068
Thu Jan 12, 2012
Many have given good answers to the question already so the only thing I will add is if you are considering this route hire a Realtor who has tons of experience with this type of sale. This is a very complex transaction with failure rates varying across the country from 50% in to 95%. The most successful Realtors seem to be in Florida as they, the banks and asset managers have figured out the system to increase their success rate. Good Luck!
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Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Morristown, NJ
Thu Jan 12, 2012
When a home is sold for less than the amount owed to the bank, and the bank accepts the lower amount in satisfaction of the debt, the home is said to have 'sold short'. If you are buyng a home that is being sold short you should be prepared to be very, very patient. There is an additonal factor in the negotiations, the bank. The bank must approve the amount and the terms of the sale and they are completely overwhelmed with short sales at the moment so they sometimes move very, very slowly as they try to recover as much of their money as possible. In fact, the deal may not close at all and you will have wasted a good deal of time. The entire banking industry is quite dysfunctional at the moment and it can be very, very frustrating dealing with them. That's the downside, the upside is that you can usually get a very good deal on a short sale home because the majority of buyers just will not take the risk.

If you are selling your home short you first of all need to find a realtor who is very familiar with the process and very experienced, or that at the very least has a support system, a broker or mentor who IS experienced. These are delicate and complicated negotiations and you need to be sure your agent understands that YOU are their client and not the bank, but you really need a realtor, DO NOT try to do this on your own. You need someone looking out for YOUR best interests, not their own and not the banks. There are many stumbling blocks and pit falls along the way to a successful short sale. A realtor knows what to look for and how to avoid them.
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Jan 11, 2012
William, it's good you asked this question, as these days you hear those words "short sale" tossed about so much......yet many don't really understand what is involved.

Fortunately, you can get all the explanations and information you need here on trulia......to start.........try Dan's blogs..........and you can also look up other Q&A;s for that topic

If you are contemplating a short sale, you might want to speak to a local agent, who handles them, to get an idea of whether this might be a viable option for you.

Best wishes....
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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Jan 11, 2012
Shanna gave you an answer, but like many things there is always more. Volumes could be written, but I've done a blog post about the many parts involved with getting from offer to bank's acceptance. It's attached through the link below.
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Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Wed Jan 11, 2012
Hi William,

A short sale is when you sell your house for less than what is owed on the property. A short sale requires approval from the lender(s). Also, the owner/seller must be able to prove a financial hardship before the lender(s) will even consider approving short sale. Lender(s) will NOT approve a short sale just because a home is worth less than what is owed on it.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
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